• Finding the Dove – Writing Workshops

    Slide01“Finding the Dove: Writing with English Language Learners” is a workshop I present for teachers of English language learners and for students themselves.   The workshop offers  poems, stories, novels, and works of nonfiction to inspire students to write themselves, see the importance of their own stories, and experience their telling and writing muscles. This is a hands on workshop using writings, music, and activities as jumping off places to experiment with writing about a memory, a story to tell to a child, a poem, and more. Here is the workshop reading list: “Finding the Dove” Writing Workshop with English Language Learners – Reading List.

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  • Luis Paints the World – set in a city of murals

    Bread and Roses Mural, Lawrence, MA, by David Fichter

    Bread and Roses Mural, Lawrence, MA, by David Fichter

    Lawrence, Massachusetts is a city of murals.  A “Bread and Roses” mural is on the Lawrence Family Health Center building.  Students create murals in the alleyways.   Next year, Carolrhoda Books will publish my picture book  LUIS PAINTS THE WORLD set in this city. It’s a story of going away to war from the eyes of a child whose brother is deployed.  As the seasons pass through the deployment, the little brother, Luis, paints on the alleyway wall the story of home and the mural grows with his and his brother’s changing lives. READ MORE

  • Readers Write Viola’s Next Chapter

    Megan, 9th grader, Gorham High in Maine, wrote "College." She is from Burundi.

    Megan, 9th grader, Gorham High in Maine, wrote “College.” She is from Burundi.

    Heather Flanders, ELL Specialist at Gorham High School in Maine sent me two stories.  She wrote, “I hope you are as moved as I was,” and I was. The stories were written by her students Amna and Megan, their own visions of the next chapter in my novel The Good Braider.   Amna is from Kharotum, Megan is from Burundi. In their chapters, they imagine Viola supported by her grandmother’s “power to believe” and as a high school senior on her way to college and willing to take on the hard task of writing essays. Amna and Megan have their own bright futures.

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  • Wings for a Flower author interview

    Cut-paper illustration, Chenai, India street scene, by Ellen Gaffney

    Cut-paper illustration, Chenai, India street scene, by Ellen Gaffney

    Ellen Gaffney’s picture book WINGS FOR A FLOWER tells a story of disability and freedom. I have a friend so close he is like my brother. He has never walked and from the time he was a toddler he got around in a Lotus Dreamingwheelchair.  I had not thought about what a person would do if they couldn’t get a wheel chair which I’ve learned is true for 100 million people around the world. Ellen tells the story of a child in India named Lotus who becomes ill and loses her ability to walk. READ MORE